[ Prafulla Kaman ]
NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Jun 16: The Assam Union of Working Journalists (AUWJ), in collaboration with Lakhimpur District Journalist Association on Sunday conducted its state council conference for its North-Eastern Zone wing here with participation of about 200 working journalists from different districts.
The day-long conference, presided over by AUWJ president Keshab Kalita discussed a number of key issues pertaining to payment of salary to working journalists of various print media houses as per the Majithia Wage Board, formulation of protection act for journalists and proper compensation of victim journalists.
Reports from different district committees of AUWJ, which was placed in the meeting, revealed that some print media houses were partly implementing the Majithia Wage Board recommendations.
Reportedly, three Assam based print media houses have closed down after the Supreme Court of India had issued directives to the print media proprietors for implementing the Majithia Wage Board recommendation. On the other hand, many media houses have released a large number of reporters in the wake of incapability to pay salary as per rules.
In the meeting, AUWJ general secretary Tutul Phukan said their movement was not to ruin the media houses for non-payment of salary, but to continue their business through proper negotiations of the working journalist unions.
“Our movement is to work in the media houses with dignity. Our grievances are stalked on the fact that a majority of print media houses are not complying with the Apex Court’s order in case payment of salary to working journalists. A number of cases are pending in the Gauhati High Court in this regard”, Phukan said, while informing that working journalists of the state are on a united stand for their legal rights.
Speaking about the Working Journalist Act, 1955, which was amended in subsequent periods, Phukan lamented that the media house owners were adopting tactics to avoid the financial burden.
Additionally, it was informed that a group of about 150 senior journalists will also be visiting the project site of the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric project on Monday and take stock of its project design with its impact in downstream Assam.
[ Prafulla Kaman ]